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“For our first number, we’d like to play our favorite marching song for you. The kids in the band have worked very hard on this one. The trumpet solo will be done by Jeremy.”
The school band teacher turned toward the students. Emily could see all the shiny instruments: flutes, saxophones, trombones, and trumpets, one of which her brother Jeremy was playing. In the back were the students ready to bang the big drums. In the middle of the song, Jeremy stood up and played a melody all by himself—that was his solo. The audience clapped for him, but his parents clapped the loudest.
“See, Emily?” her dad nudged her with his elbow. “If you practice piano like Jeremy practices the trumpet, you could be playing a solo soon, too.”
Emily nodded. She had been taking piano lessons for a year. Emily thought the piano was much fancier than the trumpet that Jeremy had.
“I wonder what it’s like to have people clap for you.”
As the band began to play their next song, Emily began to daydream.
“One and two and three and four,” counted the piano teacher to keep the beat. “Yes, now you’ve got it, Emily!”
“Did I play the song right, Miss Krell?” Emily asked her piano teacher.
“Yes, it was perfect. I wish all my students could play as well as you.”
“Thank you, Miss Krell,” Emily replied.
“Now remember, this Saturday is the big recital,” reminded her teacher.
“Yes, ma’am. I’m going to wear my fanciest dress.”
“And don’t forget your music. You’ll be playing all of these songs.” The teacher handed Emily a huge stack of music books and song sheets.
“All of these?” Emily asked.
“Yes, Emily, you are playing the most songs because you are the best.”
Smiling, Emily continued to daydream—she saw herself outdoors in her backyard, swinging in the sunshine and eating chocolate candies. Her mother stepped near the swing.
“Emily, don’t you think you should practice for the recital? It’s only a few days away.”
Emily didn’t bother to stop her swing.
“Oh, no, Mother,” she replied. “Miss Krell says I’m the best piano player, so I don’t need to practice.”
“Are you sure? Everyone needs to practice. Jeremy plays his trumpet every day.”
“Oh, but I’m better than Jeremy. I don’t need to practice. You can ask my teacher. She said I’m the best.”
Emily continued to daydream about her big recital. She stood backstage in a beautiful dress with a long, poufy skirt. Her hair was fixed up in a lovely hairdo. She peeked out through the curtain. There were thousands of people sitting in the audience.
“Did they all come to hear me play?” Emily asked her teacher.
“Why, of course, Emily. You play so beautifully. You’re the best, and they all want to hear your music.”
Miss Krell gave Emily a little nudge. “Go on. It’s time.”
Emily stepped out from behind the curtain and glided gracefully to the piano with her pile of music sheets and books. Everyone clapped when they saw her. Emily sat lightly on the piano bench and placed her music on the stand. She opened her book to the first song. The audience became very quiet. Emily glanced back at her teacher.
“Go ahead. They’re all waiting,” Miss Krell whispered.
Emily sat up straight and took a deep breath. “I’m the best,” she whispered as she lifted her hands and began to play.
The notes sounded beautiful, and the audience clapped when she finished. Emily felt so proud of herself. She could play any song without even practicing like her brother had to do.
“Bravo!” they shouted. “Encore, let us hear more!”
Emily began to play another song, but this time, the notes didn’t sound right. Somehow, she kept hitting the wrong keys. Her fingers felt stiff and slow. When she reached up to turn the page, her hand hit the other music book, which fell over and slid down onto the piano keys, making an awful noise—bong, kong, bong!
As Emily tried to keep playing, the books slipped down, banging and bonging on the keys while the music sheets fluttered around and landed on the floor.
Emily desperately tried to keep playing—she was the best—she had to finish her song! She ended the piece and raised her hands off the keys and into her lap. She stood and moved next to the piano to bow, but no one was clapping! She turned to run off the stage but stepped on her long skirt.
As she began to fall, Emily awoke from her daydream with a start, “Whaa!”
“Are you okay, Emily?” asked Mom, sitting beside her and clapping.
The band had just finished, and the audience was applauding.
“Bravo!” they shouted. Everyone knew how hard the kids in the band had practiced for this big day.
“We’re so proud of you, Jeremy,” said his dad on the ride home. “God gave you a great talent for music.”
“Yes,” Mom agreed. “You’ve worked hard practicing. We could tell you did your best today.”
“Thanks,” replied Jeremy. Then he turned to his sister. “Just think, you’re pretty good on the piano. Maybe we’ll be able to come hear you play sometime.”
Emily looked nervously at Jeremy. “Oh, that’ll be awhile. I’ll need to practice a lot first. But I’ll sure do my best.”
Justin & Jessie show kids how the Bible applies to real life! These weekly stories are part of Answers Bible Curriculum, our full-Bible, chronological Sunday school program for all ages.